Civic duty: Last chance to weigh in on Madison BRT — bikes, 12th/Union, enforcement

The Madison Bus Rapid Transit online open house closes Wednesday night and, because you’re human and may have put off getting to it and because we’re human and did a poor job of making it clear when the deadline for online comment was, here is your reminder/push to weigh in on what just might be the last big infrastructure investment around the Hill before you move to Tacoma.

You can see a presentation on the details of the planned changes to Madison and provide feedback at MadisonStreetBRT.participate.online.

Here are a few ideas for aspects of the $120 million project to weigh in on. Continue reading

E Madison Piecora’s development planned to finally break ground this spring

IMG_4342While we watch for 2017’s sortie of property deals to play out — including two core auto row-era(1), preservation-friendly buildings (2) in the Pike/Pine Conservation District and a block of 15th Ave E (3) — the story of what comes next for a big Capitol Hill property deal from the past is finally ready to play out.

A spokesperson for developer Equity Residential tells CHS that the project to create a six-story, 137-unit project with parking for 78 vehicles and a planned 3,800 square feet of retail space is finally ready to break ground this spring on the empty, weeded-over, fenced-off lot where neighborhood favorite Piecora’s served up its “New York Pizza” and slices for 33 years. Continue reading

Weigh in now on Madison Bus Rapid Transit — 23rd Ave RapidRide coming next

You will have another opportunity Wednesday night to kick the tires in person on the plan to create Bus Rapid Transit on Madison. In the meantime, King County and the City of Seattle have released a RapidRide expansion plan that includes the 2019 startup of Madison’s RapidRide G as part of a growing, cross-city network of optimized bus corridors including a plan for what we presume would be RapidRide M or N or O or P on 23rd Ave by 2024. Continue reading

What the latest designs for RapidRide G look like, Madison Bus Rapid Transit block by block

The RapidRide future of E Madison means a redo of one of the Hill's most chaotic intersections where Madison meets 12th and Union

The RapidRide future of E Madison means a redo of one of the Hill’s most chaotic intersections where Madison meets 12th and Union

The City of Seattle has released its latest designs and is collecting public feedback on what is being billed as a powerful overhaul of E Madison that will change east-west travel in Central Seattle from downtown, through First Hill, Capitol Hill, the Central District, and into Madison Valley. Judging by a few of the designs for blocks along the route, Seattle City Hall will need your help to get it right.

This month, public feedback will shape the final designs for the Seattle Department of Transportation’s updated Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit project — now known as RapidRide G. You can provide feedback in person beginning Thursday on First Hill or again next week on Capitol Hill. You can also weigh in online:

Thursday, March 9
11 AM – 1 PM
Town Hall, Downstairs
1119 8th Ave

Wednesday, March 15
5:30 – 7:30 PM
First African Methodist Episcopal Church
1522 14th Ave

ONLINE
MARCH 8-22
Give feedback online!
MadisonStreetBRT.participate.online

If you can, make time for an in-person visit and add your thoughts online. Last year, SDOT collected public comments on the proposed project that would create a BRT line from 1st Ave downtown to Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The project team has furthered the project’s design since then, reshaping the $120 million plan. Continue reading

After a 21-month road diet, first phase of 23rd Ave work complete

DSC00851The new, post road-diet 23rd Ave is now open.

The Seattle Department of Transportation began construction on the first phase of the three-phase project in June 2015, closing the road to northbound traffic between Jackson and John streets.

The newly designed road has gone from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, with a center turn lane. It’s also been widened near bus stops, to allow cars to get past buses as they load and unload passengers. Continue reading

Madison BRT, now RapidRide G, rounding out pedestrian, bike elements with aim for 2019 start of service

Seattle is ready to put the final design touches on a powerful new east-west public transit corridor set to be carved out of Madison from downtown through First Hill and Capitol Hill to MLK. The Madison Bus Rapid Transit project will be known as the RapidRide G Line when it begins serving riders along its 11-stop route in late 2019. In addition to more reliable bus service, transportation planners say the line will bring needed improvements to sidewalks and crossings along the route — and add a new protected bike lane, likely on E Union.

In March, you will have an opportunity to add your feedback to help planners shape final elements of the project including those pedestrian and bike improvements along the corridor:

We’re holding in-person and online open houses this March to share the updated project design.

IN PERSON

Thursday, March 9
11 AM – 1 PM
Town Hall, Downstairs
1119 8th Ave

Wednesday, March 15
5:30 – 7:30 PM
First African Methodist Episcopal Church
1522 14th Ave

ONLINE
MARCH 8-22
Give feedback online!
MadisonStreetBRT.participate.online
(Link will go live March 8)

Stretching from 1st Ave to Madison Valley, the future Madison BRT will travel in a dedicated center lane with island stops from 9th Ave to 14th Ave while the rest of the route will run curbside with right-turning traffic or in mixed traffic.

Under the “locally preferred alternative” design adopted by City Council last year, transit travel time from 23rd to 1st Ave is expected to improve by 40% from 16 minutes to 10 minutes while single occupancy vehicle travel time will increase by 4 minutes. Sorry, cars.

Once the project opens in 2019, people riding the bus are expected to travel the corridor 5.2 and 7.3 minutes faster (eastbound and westbound, respectively) than they would if the project were not built. People driving are expected to travel the corridor 5.6 and 2.9 minutes slower (eastbound and westbound, respectively).

The project’s traffic analysis will be available later this year but the draft of the study found “some traffic will divert to other streets,” while identifying “several key intersections SDOT could improve through various treatments.”

Some of the biggest questions about the coming RapidRide G Line are already off the table: Continue reading

Neighborhood by neighborhood, Seattle working out HALA and Mandatory Housing Affordability changes

Some Miller Park residents are not happy with the proposed zoning changes for their neighborhood in the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda.

Those residents will get an opportunity to voice their thoughts in small group discussions following a presentation on HALA, Urban Villages, and the Mandatory Housing Affordability proposal at a Community Design Workshop at 6 PM on Tuesday at the Miller Community Center.

Spencer Williams, a legislative assistant to City Council member Rob Johnson, said the input collected from community members at the workshop as well as from open houses the city has hosted and online and elsewhere will be analyzed by the Office of Planning and Community Development.

Madison-Miller Urban Village Community Design Workshop

“The meeting is happening many months prior to there being a final proposal before the council,” Williams told CHS. “We are really trying to stay engaged early.” Continue reading

Police investigating hate crime after gun threat at IHOP

Police are searching for suspects after a Jewish man said he had a gun pulled on him because he was speaking Hebrew inside the E Madison IHOP.

In the incident reported just before midnight Wednesday, police were called to a location nearby the restaurant where the victim said he had fled two male suspects who made the threat. The victim told police the suspects showed a pistol and told him to leave.

UPDATE: Here is a portion of the SPD report detailing the threats:

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The victim told police that he and his friends are from Israel and were talking at their table. As they got up to leave IHOP, they noticed a man sitting in an adjacent booth wearing a “Free Palestine” sweatshirt. According to the police report, the man told officers he thought the sweatshirt was offensive but said he did not say anything to the man as he and his friends left the restaurant before being confronted outside.

Police searched the restaurant and bars in the area but could not locate anybody matching the suspect description but were able to get surveillance video showing the two men.

One suspect was described as an Asian male in his 20s wearing a pink colored jacket. The suspect carrying the gun was described as an unknown race male with black hair, olive complexion, and heavyset. Images show he was wearing a “Free Palestine” sweatshirt, according to police.

There were no reported injuries.

Police are investigating the threats as a hate crime. If you have information that might help the investigation, call 911.

This post has been updated with information from the SPD’s report on the incident.

CHS Video | Seattle’s 2017 MLK Day march was huge

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Official crowd estimates for events like the annual Seattle MLK Day march are hard to come by but organizers said Monday the 2017 gathering might have been the largest in the 35-year history of the event.

You could also measure the crowd by the CHS video above — four and a half minutes to walk from the start of the procession to the SPD contingent bringing up the rear. The marchers passed from Garfield High School to E Union then E Madison and onto the Federal Building downtown.

You can learn more about the history of the event and the day of workshops at Garfield High School that accompany it at mlkseattle.org. More images from the crowd, below. Continue reading

At Central Co-op $15/hour celebration, a Seattle call for bump in national minimum wage

Capitol Hill’s Central Co-op hosted Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and a collection of officials and labor representatives Friday to mark the $15 minimum wage milestone in the city.

“I feel like this is the starting whistle for a labor movement that has become progressive, that’s fought for works, and that’s fought for the community on issue after issue,” Nicole Grant of the King County Labor Council said during her time at the mic during the small media conference inside the E Madison cooperative.

CHS reported earlier on the first wave of Seattle workers to reach the $15 minimum wage mark at large companies with more than 500 employees.

“We are very proud to play a role in the movement for providing a better, more livable wage,” Central Co-op representative Susanna Schultz said in a statement on the occasion. Continue reading